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Lowrance vs. Vex / Marcum


Hook em

Question

I am finally get back on the ice (too long). I need to know opinions on the lowrance and Vexilars or Marcums? I have no real experience with any (I won't have to re-learn one or the other). I am thinking about the Lowrance so I can use it in the summer as well. Any suggestions/info would be appreciated!

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I'm in the same boat. I'm really leaning towards the Lowrance right now. I'd like to hear more from owners about pros and cons. If you've never used one, please refrain from saying, "Buy a Marcum," because we all know how nice they are, but I'd really like to know how the users of the Lowrance like it and what they don't like.

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Lowrance makes great open water units but there ice flashers are something that need work. Stick to Vexilar or a Marcum for the ice, your money will be better spent. Try a fl-8se or a lx-2 but if the money is good step to a Fl-18 or lx-3 for the botton zoom. grin.gif

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My brother just bought a m68 ice machine because he wanted the GPS. I've fished with him 4 days now with his unit... seems like a decent enough unit. There is a bigger learning curve with the Lowrance vs. Vexilar or Marcum. I have both a vex f-18 and marcum lx-3 and he has a f-l 18 and now the Lowrance. The more he uses it the more he is leaning to solely using it. Like I said, more to learn to tweak it, he's had almost no interference form either of my units, more things to do with the unit (switch from flasher to full screen sonar). I like the sonar option, he prefers the flasher. You do need to get used to the multiple colors if you are already used to one of the other flashers on the market. Battery life is phenomenal. Guess I don't have any real knocks about them... myself I'll stick to the mechanical flashers for now... but they are pretty nifty.

I use an x-15 in the summer and the set-up of these (buttons) and features are fairly similar to their "summer" units, so it'd be a no brainer for someone like me to switch... but I like I said, I'm used to my flashers that I have.

If you are going to do double duty with it, I see no resason not to.

Good Luck!

Ken

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They will all work in the open water, but dont plan on towing around an ice ducer. Plan on investing in a high speed ducer that is designed to mount to the transom, or the trolling motor and I am sure you will be happy with any of the modern units as long as you dont get killed by interferance from other electronics(trolling motor, or alternator on main motor). The higher power units may give a ton of interferance to graphs already mounted on the boat.. not much you can do about that except mount the transdures as far away as possible(1 transom, 1 bow mount).

I picked up an older clearwater pro this winter which had both transducers with it.. ice and open water high speed(speed and temp included). It works great on the ice, I havent had a chance to use it open water yet.. no doubt it will work as well with seeing the performance through the ice.

The Marcums are awesome units. I am not that impressed with vexilar. I would research what is out there for components and let that help guide your final decision.

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Thorne Brothers throws in a high-speed 'ducer with the "Ice Machine" kit, so you get both an ice 'ducer and a high speed. Kind of nice.

Labs (or anyone else),

Has he used it outside (ie not in a fish house)? Is it true that the screen doesn't slow down? I don't fish in sub-zero weather, but it will be outside when I'm using it.

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The screen is not a liquid crystal like a lot of guys think it is... I think it is TFT or something...? I know it is rated to well below zero, we fished outside Saturday up north in the upper teens and it was fine. He gets at least 4 days to a charge and I think he could go longer. It does not freeze up, lock up or slow down.

They are all good machines! It is what you are happy with... they will all make you a better fisherman... Like I said, if you go with the Lowrance, really "learn" the machine! It isn't just a turn the switch and go deal. Once you have it adjusted to what you like in terms of sensitivity, ping speed, sonar / graph, colors, chart speed etc. it is really one heck of a machine! I can honestly tell you the more he's learned how to use it, the more impressed I was with it. The 1st morning he was fairly busy trying different settings, and then some tweeking the next day, since then he just turns it on and uses it...

I'm an old vex guy, been using one since they came out. I love my 18, it has been a very durable and admirable machine. I bought an LX-3 2 years ago and will probably love it once I get it back after having it converted to a true color... then I'll probably want an LX-5, never liked the colors of the original LX-3, to me it is a 2 color unit... the Lowrance actually has too many colors for my liking, but it is one feature that my brother actually likes (too many in the flasher mode, I like it in the sonar mode) ... again get what makes you happy...

Again for now, I'm sticking with my mechanicals, but I wouldn't talk someone out of the Lowrance, as long as they understand it is a more complex machine to learn.

Good Luck!

Ken

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I posted a few times on this topic. I've had a couple of months to play with the lowrance 332-C on the ice and it's awesome. Target separation is great. The 332-C works great in the boat. I really like the colors, the lack of noise, the ability to zoom on any depth range, the depth display and it has GPS. It also has more power than Marcum's new unit.

I also have an FL-18 that I now hand off to friends and family. In three years, I have had zero problems with the FL-18. It works great. In the summer, I mount it on the canoe for fishing the city lakes.

I have used the two units side by side without any problems.

I haven't used the lowrance ice machines or Marcums, so I can't comment on those.

I think they will all catch you more fish and that's what it's all about. You might want to shop online. You should be able to find much better prices than the major retailers.

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I just bought my m68c last week and I absolutely love it. Used it for the first time at the trout opener on Saturday at Courthouse lake. It was fabulous. I used it in graph mode as it was nice having a few seconds of history available in case I had to look away from the screen for a bit. Was surrounded by other flashers in tight quarters on this small lake and experienced none of the interference I've heard about. I set Ping speed to High, Noise rejection to high, and adjusted sensitivity as I fished to match the size of my bait to a thin line on screen. The interface offers A LOT of flexibility in how you set up the unit. Some may find it too complex for this reason but I explored the menus for a few nights prior to Saturday and was able to use it very effectively the first time. I love it and the best part is I can throw it on the boat in the summer - nothing like killing two birds with one stone laugh.gif

If you don't mind spending a bit of time getting familiar with the unit I don't think you can go wrong with the Lowarance.

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I can vouch for the lowrance, I have a owned the x67c ice machine for 4 years now and cannot complain. I have not had any problems with interference or freezeups etc... There are many settings to play around with, but you can always start with some of the auto settings and adjust from there. This unit also came with a summer kit which works great too, so you are really getting 2 units in one and if you spend the extra $$$ and get the m68, then you are getting 3 units in one.

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I've been running a Lowrance x102C this year and find it easier on the eyes and provides more information than a flasher. You can see past information on how the fish react to your presentation and also how a single fish is there or how multiple smaller fish came together to form the large return image. Images are very bright, battery life is long and bottom resolution is awesome. Interference is a total non-issue with simple adjustments. I doubt it can withstand the abuse flashers have typically been able to take, but I have had no problems.

EJ

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I am the rare staff guy who prefers the Lowrance. No noise, more options, just as fast and cold weather doesn't slow it. I have been outside with it in subzero weather (didn't say I was smart)and it performed just great. The ice machines give you 5 colors to mess with not just 3. I also use the regular graph mode more than the flasher. No intereference problems for me to date and I've been in the same house with Vexs. And it spends all summer on the bow of my boat. Great unit. I'm thinking of doing the 332 thing myself. If you have the cash that is the way to go. The 332 has all the flasher features and the bigger screen is a plus.

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